LONDON Dec 10 UK energy supplier E.ON
on Monday became the last of the country's largest
six utilities to raise energy prices for this winter, blaming
wholesale, transmission and social scheme costs.
From Jan. 18, its average electricity prices will rise by
7.7 percent and its gas prices by 9.4 percent, E.ON UK said. It
had pledged to customers in May not to increase bills this year.
"Some 16 months after our last price increase and almost a
year since we actually cut our electricity prices, we have had
to make the difficult decision to increase our prices," Tony
Cocker, E.ON UK chief executive said in a statement.
Britons see climbing energy prices as the biggest threat to
their standard of living over the coming year, according to a
YouGov survey published in October, and UK inflation is already
set to rise further this year due to recent gas and electricity
price hikes by energy suppliers.
E.ON follows its competitors in raising prices, and all of
them cited higher costs for things out of their power such as
commodity prices, network tariffs and government-imposed social
Britain's utilities are often accused by the public and
politicians of reaping huge profits from supplying energy to
households at unrealistic prices.
The government last month announced plans to force utilities
to give all customers the lowest tariff they can offer.
Cocker said E.ON's profit margin on supplying domestic
energy was lower than 2 percent last year.